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Closer collaboration for Africa and China urged

By WANG XIAODONG in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-03-11 09:50

View of Egypt's Ain Sokhna Port. XINHUA

With significant progress made in bilateral cooperation between China and Africa under the Belt and Road Initiative over the past 10 years, African experts have called for closer collaboration to deliver more benefits to the two sides.

"The African-Chinese partnership during the last 10 years is without question a great step forward, which carries promise and huge potential for both sides," said Maged Refaat, a member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.

"We have all witnessed during the last decade how the Belt and Road Initiative grew from planning to execution."

In that time the initiative has greatly boosted infrastructure development, connectivity and trade across Africa. In Egypt a number of infrastructure and industrial development projects have been carried out, including the Central Business District in its new administrative capital, the Suez Canal Corridor and the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Refaat said.

"The BRI is a global economic endeavor like no other, which engages some 70 percent of the world's population and accounts for more than 50 percent of global GDP."

The BRI is one of the most important and far-reaching projects in modern history, he said.

More than 150 countries, including many European ones, have been involved in the initiative, which shows its great vitality and potential in promoting development and connection, Refaat said.

He made the comments during the 13th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Friday.

James Mdoe, deputy permanent secretary of Tanzania's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, said at the opening ceremony of the meeting that the BRI and other platforms for collaboration such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation have boosted Tanzania's development in various fields.

Significant contributions

"The government of Tanzania recognizes the significant contributions made by China through the BRI in building infrastructure, promoting trade and people-to-people exchanges." China has offered thousands of scholarships to Tanzania and stepped up collaboration in vocational training, Mdoe said.

Ezechiel Nibigira, a former foreign minister of Burundi, told the meeting that relations between China and Africa are based on trust and mutual benefit and should be maintained.

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else; this is exactly what China is doing. I have a dream that some African developing countries will one day become developed countries because of the teamwork and the win-win cooperation established between China and Africa."

Nibigira described China as a friend that has been with Africa "during hard moments and good times", and he suggested Chinese investment in Africa should be increased to promote industrialization in the continent.

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